A disturbing new video has surfaced of a Pima County, Arizona, sheriff’s deputy wrestling a 15-year-old, Black quadruple amputee to the ground. Another teen at the group home where the confrontation took place recorded the incident on camera.
KOLD News 13 was the first to air the footage that has now led to an internal affairs investigation.
According to their report, staff at a Tuscon area group home claimed that the young man, who has no limbs, “kicked” over a garbage can. The deputy responded to the call and the situation escalated.
The shirtless teen, identified by the Washington Post as Immanuel, can be seen on the video lying facedown on the floor as the sheriff’s deputy places his body weight on top of him to restrain him. The quadruple amputee can also be heard screaming to the officer not to hold him down and pleading for the deputy who is twice his size to get off of him.
Once the officer lets up, he begins to shout at the young man, whose parents abandoned him, the Washington Post reports, leaving him at the mercy of the state. The deputy and Immanuel go back and forth until the 16-year-old who was recording the ordeal from another room steps in on behalf of his housemate.
“Hey, you asked him a question and he answered,” he tells the deputy. At that point, the teen who The Post has identified as “C.J.”, becomes the target of the officer’s attacks.
C.J. hands the phone off to another teen, who then continues the recording. He captures responding Pima County officers handcuffing C.J. and slamming his head into the wall, before they led to a police vehicle. The Post reports that both teens were jailed and charged with disorderly conduct.
Public defenders for the young men shared with reporters that they cried the first time they watched the shocking footage, saying, “We’re public defenders, so we have an iron stomach for a lot of things, but this was especially terrible.”
The Pima County Sheriff’s Department told KOLD that they were not aware of the video but would be launching an investigation.